They own the Governor, the PUC, the SDGFP and most of the legislators. The PUC just permitted Crown Ridge, their fifth highly opposed project since they first permitted the Crocker Wind Farm last year. Each of these five dockets had interveners trying to protect their quality of rural living, home values and their health.
The PUC puts on a good dog and pony show for a few days during the evidentiary hearings giving the citizens a little false hope. But in the end, they vote 3-0 and give Big Wind everything they want. Every time. They can lie under oath; pump water out of public lakes; destroy environmentally fragile prairie, grasslands and wetlands; they can kill eagles. They do what they want.
You folks that will soon find yourself living next to a 600 ft. wind turbine with no recourse are the sacrificial lambs to (quoting our Governor) “promote the public interest and make our state attractive to do business.”
The politicians like to point out the “investment” Big Wind makes in our state. PUC Commissioner Nelson recently testified that each wind turbine receives about $3 million in tax credits in the 10 years allowed.
If you take any one of these projects and divide the construction cost by the number of turbines, you get about $3 million dollars. Who, again is making this investment? You the taxpayer, it comes right out of your pocket in the end.
In five years, there will only be a few places in eastern South Dakota where your view will not include a wind turbine. The beauty of our state will be destroyed for the benefit of the multinational corporations who get billions in tax credits, and our “public servants” who are reimbursed with campaign contributions.
The PUC Commissioners all have a bias towards wind: Hanson was on the early committees to court Big Wind and make the deals to get them here; Fiegen was formerly on the Xcel Energy Advisory Board, who is now one of the biggest players in wind energy; and Nelson has wind turbines on his own family farm in Aurora County.
And in 10 -15 years when the tax credits run out and the cash flow for Big Wind is decreased by billions, our electric rates will skyrocket just like they did in Ontario, Germany, Australia and every country that embraced this socialist idea called the Green New Deal.
As you travel through South Dakota this summer, take some extra photos of the sunsets, the prairies before they are destroyed by the “White Plague”.
Remember who let this happen — our last three Governors, our legislature and the feckless, arrogant PUC.
Gregg Hubner, is from Avon, SD, and is President of South Dakotans for Safe and Responsible Renewable Energy (SDSRRE.ORG), also the author of “Paradise Destroyed: The Destruction of Rural Living by the Wind Energy Scam”